Thinking about how thick a single weight oil gets this time of year at these latitudes (thirty below isn't uncommon) and how cars like the T were once relied on for daily transportation, I got to wondering if there were ever any accessory oil dilution systems available. For those unfamiliar, it used to be commonplace on bush planes to have a means of injecting about a quart of gasoline into the oil sump just before shutdown. This apparently would thin the oil and keep it limber enough through the night that the engine could be started the next morning. As the engine temperature came up before takeoff the gasoline would boil off.
Anyways I figured something like this must have at least been thought of. Was there ever any product on the market or instructions on how to make your own or anything like that? Just curious.
Title should say "oil." I somehow got the version of autocorrect that can't spell.
I remember my grandfather telling me that if you didn't have a small coal stove in the garage (or didn't want to fire it up for safety reason as garage fires were common), drivers used to drain the warm oil out, throw it on the register to keep it warm all night, then pour it back in for the morning drive. Grandpa said that was too messy, so (having a hot water boiler for heat) he would go grab a big pail of warm water from the system and slowly pour it over the engine block to loosen it up, When I was in college and lacking enough cash to buy a new new battery for my old beater truck, I remembered this story on a few cold mornings to get the old beast running. It worked just like Grandpa said it did.
I seriously doubt that injecting gasoline into the oil sump would be a good idea. I have heard of many engines that had their oil pans and valve covers blown off when the gas ignited at startup when the oil pan had collected gas from a flooding carb. Tim, are you sure they didn't use kerosene? Just curious. Dave
DC-3 aircraft have a dilution valve. The radial engines are dry-sumped, and you dilute the oil in the hopper with fuel. There is a chart in the SOP. At warm shut-down, you hold the dilution valve open a certain time for the corresponding temperature.
I have several period correct oil pan heaters which hang under the oil pan to keep them warm.
If memory serves, the owner's manual for black Ts recommends cutting oil with kerosene in cold weather.
I flew Super Connies and Air Force C-124's. Both had an oil dilution system that injected gasoline into the oil system. After landing, before leaving the aircraft for a real cold overnight, the Flight Engineer would dilute the oil. After the next engine start, the lighter gasoline would vaporize and the oil was back to normal weight.
Bill an old pilot
Iíve been in the auto repair business 73 years. Full time. Still am.
I have seen many a car with badly diluted oil from broken fuel pump diaphragms. Even bought a couple cars that had a lot of fuel in the oil.
I have NEVER seen a car that blew the pan off or even had an internal crank case explosion.
In Ď83 I serviced a Ford Cortina with a bad fuel pump that had gasoline and oil coming out the dipstick tube.
I forget how many gallons we drained out of that crank case.
What is stopping the motor oil itself from exploding?
I always thought oil was flammable!?
There were owners manuals for cars a lot newer than the model T that recommended adding kerosene to the crank case oil in severely cold weather.
Opps. Make that 63 years. Iím only 81.
Aaron, I think it's the lack of oxygen and the lack of any ignition device that stops the gas diluted crank cases from exploding. You've got to be fairly close to the proper air to gas vapor mix for it to be flammable - have heard about burning cigarettes being thrown into a barrel of gas without any resulting fire.
I don't know what you would call it then but at work years ago a chevy small block car came in with both valve covers that were oversized to the point of needing to be hammered back some to be able to get all the attaching bolts removed. It had a hole in a piston.
Aaron, I know of two engine explosions from gas in the oil first hand and I have heard of others over the years. One was a six cylinder Chevy engine back in the early '60's that had been swapped into an earlier car. Bowed out the pan and valve cover. The other was a 549 International V8 in an early '60's truck tractor. It turned the valve covers almost inside out and bowed out the pan. Also, the butterfly hood almost left the truck. The guy that was in it at the time about crapped himself and couldn't hear for quite awhile. All it takes is for the right set of circumstances to line up. It can happen. Dave
happened to my dad's flooded 60 Comet at -42 f when he put a pan of hot coals under the pan, the 144 6 cyl. had a drop tube must have sucked up an ember when he cranked it over. Blew all the gaskets out of the engine
George tells about a hole in the piston.
Wow! I drove an old Volvo with a hole down the ring lands but the spark plug fouled with oil so bad that that may have been what saved the engine from an explosion.
I took the two push rods out for that cylinder and closed the gap on the spark plug and drove it on three cylinders for a year.
Glad now I closed the gap, it may have blown if I had not done that.
A fuel contaminated crank case!